Construction Worker Stumbles Across 100-Foot Long Dinosaur Fossil

The unnamed worker was working a backhoe operator in Alberta.

Pipeline Worker Finds Huge Dinosaur Fossil in Canada

The last thing you expect to come across during your workday is a dinosaur. And yet that's exactly what happened Tuesday to a construction worker in the Canadian city of Spirit River in the province of Alberta. Working on the installation of a pipeline for the Tourmaline Oil Corp., the worker stumbled across a mostly intact fossil measuring roughly 100 feet long, as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported. (CNN put the measurement of the dinosaur at 35 feet.) The worker was operating a backhoe at the time of the discovery.

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The worker has not been identified in reports, and unknowingly almost turned the million-year old fossil into "mush," in the words of CNN, before realizing this was no ordinary dig. Paleontologist Matthew Vavrek was soon contacted to inspect the fossil.

"To see something like that is pretty incredible," Vavrek told CNN about the uncovering of a mostly intact fossil. "The last time I've seen something like that was in a museum. I've never found something like this before."

As proof of how fragile the fossil is, the parts that were picked up by the construction worker's shovel immediately crumbled. "You handle it carefully, or it's just going to shatter," Vavrek also told CNN.

The exact type of dinosaur has not been identified yet and the team is saying it may take months to properly remove the fossil from the site. Tourmaline has offered its workers to help remove the dinosaur fossil, which is partially buried about five feet underground, according to Time. But now that the remains have been exposed the diggers are in a race to beat the punishing Alberta winter.

The discovery is the latest in a long line of stories covered by AOL Jobs of workers coming across the unbelievable during their workday. Just earlier this week, AOL Jobs profiled a British gas meter attendant who stumbled onto a four-foot long corn snake during a routine check. The worker was stuck for an hour inside the basement of an office of the British heart foundation with the harmless reptile before he was rescued.

Filed under: Employment News
Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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another nail in the coffin for creationists!

October 28 2013 at 5:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Look out Drumhellar,we got your back.

October 05 2013 at 10:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ian Kirkness

Now that is very rare. You can actually see the outline of the skin of the dinosaur. WOW. I hope it a new one then they would name the dinosaur after the operator whom found it.

October 04 2013 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Shinlinlin

I didn't realize Hillary Clinton was in Alberta?

October 04 2013 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LA is Best

I always enjoyed finding a little tail!

October 04 2013 at 9:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Great find. A dinosaur found in solid rock. Of course it is obvious that it died there, laid there for thousands of years while being fossilized, did not deteriorate, was not eaten by insects, and was covered over inch-by-inch by sediment which hardened into rock. Just like polystrate fossils (standing trees) all over the world. They died, stood there for millions of years and did not decay, somehow lost their roots and were likewise slowly fossilized by evolutionary natural processes. Right?

But for anyone who believes this stuff I've got this bridge I'd like to sell you.

October 04 2013 at 7:45 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

It looks like Hillary

October 04 2013 at 7:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nam2205's comment
LA is Best

"At this point, What difference does it make?"

October 04 2013 at 9:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

You have to remember that Journalism just isn't what it used to be. Thus you end up with Dan Fastenberg reporting "The worker has not been identified in reports, and unknowingly almost turned the million-year old fossil into "mush," They should get Dan to be a contestant on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.

October 04 2013 at 2:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hi, Carissa. interesting story. please do a followup. it might be part of a huge sea serpent, or some other swimming dino. plus, you look mahvelous. if crocodiles and alligators have survived since the days of the dinosaurs, then the fossil can even be much less than a million years old.

October 04 2013 at 2:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Human ancestors found fossils like these, and voila! The legends of dragons began!

Anyway, If it turns out that this particular fossil is from a "new" species of dinosaur, isn't there a slight possibility it might be named after the guy who "discovered" it? Now how cool would that be?

October 04 2013 at 2:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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